April Films for Tough Times

It’s easy to unfairly judge the behavior of a person living with Down Syndrome. This is a genetic condition of people born with an extra copy of chromosome 21, which can affect how their brain and body develop.  People diagnosed with Down Syndrome often have happy and healthy lives with supportive care.

In this 21st century, it’s still easy to unfairly judge the behavior of BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color).  When watched in a public venue, the temptation remains, despite the abolition of racial segregation in public schools.

The Mental Health Committee invites you to view “The Peanut Butter Falcon” about Zak’s dream for a different life, as well as “Remember the Titans,” based on a true story about overcoming the indignity of school segregation.

“The Peanut Butter Falcon” (2019) This film follows Zak, a young man with Down Syndrome, who runs away from a residential nursing home.  He desires to fulfill his dream of attending the pro wrestling school of his idol, Salt Water Redneck.

On the road, Zak meets Tyler, a small-time outlaw, who becomes Zak’s unlikely coach and ally.  Together they set out on a wild, life-changing journey, and try to convince Eleanor, a kind nursing home employee charged with bringing Zak back, to join them. (Available to stream on Prime Video and Fubo)

“Remember the Titans” (2000) is a rousing celebration of how a town, torn apart by resentment, friction, and mistrust, came together in triumphant harmony.  The white high school football coach died, replaced by an African-American, with ensuing indignities and insults made to the new coach by his white players.

How the new coach overcame his difficulties and turned around a group of hostile young men into champions, plays out in a remarkable story full of soul and spirit.  The quotation of wisdom by the coach states: “Reflection is the better part of a champion.  We have disagreements of course, but before we reach for hate — always, always, we remember the Titans!” (Available to stream on Disney+)

Jesus on behaving as God’s children:  “Be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.”  (Luke 6:36)

Daily prayer:  Loving God, heal this spirit of judgment in me.  Remove its burden from me, replacing it with a spirit of love and mercy.  Amen.